tv Government Access Programming SFGTV April 14, 2019 1:00pm-2:00pm PDT
program that san francisco has instituted actually helped keep me safe. gave me access to clean syringes. it gave me health care treatment access when i needed it. it gave me information, and prevented me from getting hep "c," thank god, and i don't know how i dodged that bullet. the truth is, i wasn't ready for treatment. i didn't ask for treatment. but they kept caring for me until i was ready for treatment. and over that relationship i built with them and the trust i had, when i was ready i was able to get it. thank god we have these services that kept me alive long enough to make that decision. that is what this is about. thank you for your support. >> chairman: thank you. next speaker. >> good afternoon -- almost -- yes, good afternoon. i'm sam dennison. i also a former drug user, and i want to express, you know, a great deal of sympathy thor thos for those who
have not survived, and the families of those who have not survived, and the struggles of families who are living with those with active addiction. i wholeheartedly support this effort largely because my longing is to see the creativity and energy of current drug users be released a little bit. one of the things we talk about a lot is drug users as if they only use drugs. that's the only thing that they do. i want to say i know many drug users who are also artists, who are caretakers, who are companions, who are family members. and they're creativity is often used up in trying to find places to use. trying to overcome criminalization, trying to find a place to live. this is one small step in making sure that all of our brothers and sisters on the streets have a chance to use their creativity for the benefit of all of us. if we're talking about saving $3.5 million in our city budget, think of what
we receive in terms of released energy and creativity and entrepreneurship if we have a more dignified way for our brothers and sisters who use to be able to bring their energies and strength to our community. i thank you for considering this. >> chairman: thank you. next speaker. >> we've got two minutes, so i'm going to make this short and i'm not going to sing today. i'm here showing a parallel. i sympathize with the drug users. i used to use drugs. my choice of drugs was crack cocaine. that's why i'm here to talk about that today. because there is an equity, and there is discrimination about the drug use. i see most of the people coming up here to talk are different from me, caucasian, englishmen, whatever, that was addicted to a drug that was introduced to them. but what in the hell happened to us? when the crack -- where
was the president -- what's the name -- just say no to drugs. but then most of our people are in jail. weed became legal, but most of our people are in jail. now that the academic come out, hurting other people who don't look like me, and you want to help them -- well, you should help them. you want to provide every service for them. these are legislation laws. what happened to people who looked like me. and i'm on this case in equity. the city -- let me just say this for the city by the bay. you put your noses in national things. are you going to dip in and tell them what is going on with the city by the bay? with all of the racism? are you going to tap into they're trying to give us some money now, what they call, reparations?
is this city and county going to stick your nose in that kind of stuff, too? i don't think so, are you? reparation for black folks, i don't think you're going to stick it -- but you better. i want to show you legislators, take a piece of that and we, as african-american, black nigros -- whatever you want to call us, come up to snuff with everybody else. >> chairman: thank you. next speaker. >> n i'm a community organizer with community housing partnership. and we support ab362. one of the things we have been doing with our work is hosting a treatment on demand council. we see the issue of safe use as part of broader issues around our communities. poverty, trauma, and unequal access to economic
and social opportunities are some of the reasons why people choose to use. so we do see this is a broader social justice issue. people in poverty are being attacked by wealth inequality. so we need to have these programs to address this disparities from the health and humanitarian perspective. often the status quo is these issues are treated through a criminal justice perspective. the safe sites are to save the lives of community members. it is not about aesthetic impacts to vacationers. we demand that san francisco lead and set precedent in safe use sites. it is about empowering our community with dignity and hope. thank you. >> chairman: thank you. i'm going to call some more names. isaac jackson, whit ba
basionna, alex crawl. alyssa meyer. next speaker. >> either mic? >> either one. >> thank you, supervisors, for considering what we're here for today. i strongly support 362 as someone -- my name is denny smith, i've lived in san francisco for 35 years. over 30 of those i spent working as a health care worker, providing care for people with h.i.v. disease, and also people who are homeless after release from incarceration, and all of the health concerns attendant to that. and then several years ago, unbelievably, i became homeless, somewhat dependent on opiates. having basically the worst time of my life. and i got housing and a doctor who was willing to taper me off the opiates i
think because i presented to the system as a confident, articulate person who knew how to talk like they talk. but i don't think that's the situation for a lot of people, and the city has to care for them -- for everyone in a global way. i wish that the city would tackle homelessness and o opiates and sentencing the way it tackled the h.i.v. epidemic. because we became an international model, we became admired around the world for how we dealt with aid. wades. aids. and we can take that same method now, making sure that people who are dependent on opiates to get whatever treatment they need, they need clean needle exchange, housing, everything we all need as
>> you cannot claim medical money, state money, local money, and government, to appeal people to take drugs, and tell them to go see me for rehab. that is not common sense. we in san francisco have more than 900,000 residents. for 25,000 drug abusers and sellers have been dominating our lives. and $3 billion a year is not acceptable. we, the people, elect you to do regulations and laws to protect our lives, not to attract and support drug dealers to selling more drugs to drug people. it is a violation for government practice. it is a violation for
federal law. and it is a violation of constitutional law. again, my name is ellen. i am a proud public employee. thank you. >> chairman: thank you. next speaker. >> good afternoon. my name is spensor hudson. i'm here on behalf of both the democratic socialists and the american san francisco homeless community. both organizations fully support this initiative. we support the expansion and initiation of voluntary services to provide services and facilities for our unhoused neighbors. we urge this committee and the full board of supervisors to pass the resolution, to work with our state legislators to ensure that ab362 passes and is signed by the governor and then pass the enabling ordinance when it comes in front of the board there after. also, just as importantly,
we encourage the board to provide adequate funds to make these safe injection sites a complete success and show the rest of the nation and the rest of the state that these safe injection sites work, as has been shown throughout the world. i'm also here on behalf of myself as a constituent and homeowner and taxpayers in district 8. and i would like to say that myself, i fully support the expansion of voluntary services over involuntary coercion into so-called support for those with mental health and addiction issues. i think that criminalization of mental health and addiction issues is the wrong way to go, and i would like to just repeat what ben said earlier. we should be legalizing
love and dignity. thank you. >> chairman: thank you. next speaker. >> my name is rose juliano. i work at the san francisco aids foundation. i just wanted to speak a little bit about one of our programs at sixth street harm reduction center. we have a comment box, and one of the most common comments in that box is, when are we going to get a safe space to use? and so i invite you today to really open your hearts and see what can happen when we work with people who use drugs from a place of compassion and we work to dismantle the stigma and the shame. folks who come into our harm reduction center can access opiate replacement therapy. and we test for h.i.v., hepatitis "c," full screenings, and my hopes
will be when we open an overdose prevention site, it will wrap in all of these services. please open your hearts today and act from a place of compassion for all san franciscans. thank you. >> chairman: thank you. next speaker. >> hello, my name is robert hoffman, and i also work at the san francisco aids foundation. we're in full support of this bill. and i think after what ro just shared, this is a necessary program. we have wrap-around services and is proven to give dignity to drug users' health and to drug users. thank you. >> chairman: thank you. next speaker. >> hi, i am from the san francisco health center, and we're in full support
of this bill. i wanted to say that this will save lives and this will save the city money. i have to call ambulances multiple times a month for some of the same people. and i'm lucky enough that they use around my building or use and then come into my clinic because they trust us. i also have clients who will call me or send me a text message when they're using, and i know if they do not contact me back, i can call 9-1-1. this is ridiculous, and we should not be allowing more people to die. i've heard a lot of people mention vancouver, but you can really look at what has been going on in toronto, at how this actually works at saving lives. and that this overdose crisis -- because it not an opioid crisis, it is an overdose crisis, affects and impacts all of our lives. the people who are opposing this that i've
heard speak today do not have a lot of valid data to share, and they're coming from what seems like to me is a place of fear and misunderstanding. and i would be more than happy to allow anyone to come over to my agency so you can sit with the people we serve, so you can actually learn about what is going on and what is really happening. i really want to say, somewhere we're all sitting on the front lines of this overdose crisis, to immediately increase access to the interventions, like these safe-using sites, an. >> chairman: thank you. next speaker. >> my name is isaac jackson. i've had the privilege of working with drug users for over 10 years. i'm a drug user myself. i think what you can do for the city and the country will be really fantastic. i would like to urge this
board to -- if for some reason that the government does not sign this bill, that you will continue on allowing this to happen, in defiance of the law. because when i was 10 years old, i went to south carolina with my family, and. [inaudible] there was a candy counter, and i wanted to get some candy. and the lady said, you can't get it here. you have to go down to the colored section. and that was legal. we know there have been times in history where people have defined the norms. and i think i want to see this board have the same resolve to undo years of neglect of drug users, give us our dignity and our ability to have healthy lives. i think this board can do it. i mean, i've seen people do other things in other
areas, and it encourages me. i know you'll probably pass this resolution, but i just want you to know that those of us have been waiting a long time. we were disappointed it didn't get passed last year. we would like to see this go forward, regardless of what happens in the governor's office. >> chairman: thank you. next speaker. >> hi, my name is whit ba basion. i'm proud to be here in the community, and also to represent the san francisco young democrats as their co-president, as our board has voted to support ab362, which we believe that this bill and our support for it will really help showcase the compassion and empathy that we want to define the city. especially to those who may need these services. there is nothing more powerful or compassionate
or san franciscan, that i can think of, than to signal to someone that i'm really happy that you're here and you're alive today, and i want to see you here tomorrow. >> chairman: thank you. next speaker. >> hello, my name is paul harkin. i work at the glide foundation, and i'm a member of the h.i.v. community planning here in san francisco, a long-term member. what we're asking here is for a common sense response for people with substance abuse disorders. there are some people who are speaking out that wish drug use would go ow away, or a wand that could stop people from using drugs, but people have been using drugs for centuries. what we need is we need to implement many of these
centers. so people who are saying bad things will happen, they absolutely don't have any data to support that. there are over 100 of these in the world, and they absolutely function exactly as planned. people don't die there because th been an overdose, and people don't get h.i.v. because the equipment is sterilized. harm reduction includes abstinence, and that has never been a problem. not only do i want you to support this -- what i would like to see is it more actively supporting mayor breed in having this implemented. this is a city that has horrendous public injection problems. the old war on drugs hasn't done nothing.
[speaking a foreign language] [speaking through interpreter] >> i oppose the bill as follows. the city should not encourage or pay the money to have the drug injection. this drug usage is harmful to human beings. the most affective way to have treatment is to get treatment. drug abuse is illegal under federal laws. that's why i strongly
oppose ab362. please do not build the drug injection site, but help us to get the treatment centers. thank you. [speaking a foreign language] >> very good mandarin. >> your name, please? the speaker's name? >> my name is m-a-olast o. last name. >> my name es alex crowl, and i'm a resident of district 8. i'm excited to hear that my supervisor is now willing to co-sponsor this
as well. thank you for doing that. i'm a researcher, and i've been conducting research on drug use in san francisco for the last 26 years. a lot of the research that the public health -- i thank eileen for her great presentation, and there was research that we conducted. a couple of different things that i've just heard today among all of the amazing testimony, in terms of the opposition, one of them seems to be the taxpayers' money piece of it. our study shows that even just one of these sites would save the city, save the taxpayers, $3.5 million a year. so i think that if you want to save money, then these sites have been shown that they definitely save money. the second piece is the drug treatment piece, which i think is an important piece of it. the site that has been researched so well in vancouver showed that 35%
of the people that go to that site actually entered into treatment. that's much better than if you're out in the community. and so these sites facilitate people getting into treatment. we do need more drug treatment, and this is a way to facilitate people coming to that. if you have any questions at all about the research elsewhere or here, i'm happy to provide you with any answers going forward. thank you. >> chairman: thank you. next speaker. >> hi, everyone. my name is larissa meyer. and one year ago i joined the ucsf in addiction research. i learned about the work of the san francisco aids foundation very early on and decided to join them as a volunteer for their syringe injection programs, where i engage with people who use drugs in san francisco. coming from switzerland, a country that has implemented the harm reduction as part of the
drug policy strategy very early on, i had never to deal with people who were using drugs on the streets. this bothered me as a teenager, but nevertheless something that was always in mind. looking to zurich or other cities in switzerland which have more than 20 years of experience with running consumption facilities, we were seeing that the people were getting older, but less young people start using. and we were seeing not only health increase, but crime and violence acutely and immediately decreased. we were finding that people were using these services were more ready to access treatment in the shorter term. and just one month ago, when renewing my visa in switzerland, i was seeing that many of these people were not anymore access.
they have changed to more safe routes, such as smoking, but is better than drug use. you need to provide safe spaces for these people, where they can use the drugs and add dignity to their lives. thank you. >> chairman: thank you. next speaker. >> hi, m i'm with the aids foundation. yes, too, i am with supervisor ian. if it weren't for the programs 20 years ago, i would be dead. and there is nobody else more upset when it comes to all of this. when it comes to homelessness, addictions, we are the most affected.
i want to let you know that it won't be for the proposal, for the money and for the money, people like me would be dead a long, long time ago. ab nanthank you very much. >> hi, my name is maria shulman, and i'm here on invisible s.f., we're in support of this state bill and this resolution. please pass it. thank you. >> chairman: thank you. next speaker. >> my name is bill buman.
i'm here for the hep "c" prevention services. i've been doing direct services with people who use drugs in this city for 18 years. i support this. it's an evidence-based intervention. people have already gone over the evidence. there is really no solid evidence-based reason to oppose it. [please stand by]
>> i think having someplace to go to use -- and i hate saying it like that because i think it's someplace to go to be loved and be supported to give you the initiative to change your life, to stop using. i think this is what this place would be because that's what it's done for me. >> supervisor mandelman: thank you. next speaker. >> good afternoon, supervisors. my name is alexander goldman.
i am the planning and policy manager of the tenderloin development organization. i am here supporting the bill and supporting the resolution for san francisco to support the bill. we've heard from a lot of other speakers that this is a very evidence-based intervention, and i just want to thank all the people who have been working very hard on this bill for a long time, particularly the drug users themselves who have a lot to lose but who have been really out there, honest about their stores and really pushing for this, so i'm really grateful to them. one thing that some people have mentioned that i just want to reiterate. so not only would a safe consumption site help the people who can use it by reducing the transmission of hep-c and hiv, but giving them time to use safely. i think there are physical harms that can be done to
people's bodies while using drugs, but there's a lot of stigma and shame. they're not honest with their families, and they're not honest with themselves. i think as a city, taking a strong and clear statement that we care about drug users, that really fundamentally, we just want them to live, i think that would have far reaching ramifications, that would be really positive. so thank you for your time today. >> supervisor mandelman: thank you. i'm going to call some of names. [names read] >> chair mandelman: if i've not called your name but you want to speak in public comment,
lineup there. >> good morning, supervisors. we estimate in our hospital as -- more than 50% of our patients are either presenting or have concurrent substance use issues, so clearly, it's a very big issue for the health of our population, our patient population and our community. we firmly support safe injection services that improves both individual and community health. we've been engaged in conversations in the community since 2015. i want to speak a little bit about the safe injection services that we've seen. these conversations made very community driven around public injecting and proper needle disposal, and that led to a
support for this -- well, a group called safer inside, which is a lot of multisectors stakeholders in the tenderloin really digging deep into the conversations around the possibility of safe injection sites, participated on the -- mayor breed's task force. we are also -- we've done a lot of outreach and education in the community beyond the tenderloin, and what we've found in our experience is pretty much 100% of the time when people have had an opportunity to understand more about the evidence and have an opportunity to discern that, that people move along the continuum pretty much 100 % of the time. we also commenced a safe injection project last august, where people were able to walk in the hshoes of someone who ue this facility, and all the data
and evidence collected showed support. >> chair mandelman: your time is up. thank you. next speaker. >> all right. hello, everyone. how are you doing? i am charles townsend, and i provide training and technical assistance to a lot of the people who are in these programs, and we work with a lot of programs like st. anthony's to do a lot of work around building up a lot of the community worker skills and working with people who use drugs. just to share about some of the things that i talk about in some of my trainings are. so this would be something that we would put under safer techniques a lot of the time. when people are using, we want to be able to give them the
space where if you are using -- just because you use drugs, it does not mean that you have to get hepatitis c or hiv because you're injecting in a place that's unsafe or rushing. just because you might be using ten times a day. okay. let's talk about how we can get you to eight, or four. once people how they can start seeing how they can move their substance use and they have the self-efficacy and power to do that, that's a strategy we have to move people towards using safety. and abstinence, which is another strategy. and then something that i always also like to bring up is san francisco already has surprised consumption services for schedule one drugs. they're called safe smoking
rooms in all of the dispensaries that we have in san francisco. they're not new, they exist, they're already here, so bring another one in. >> chair mandelman: thank you. next speaker. >> good afternoon, supervisors. my name's javier vermon, and i stand in strong support with my organization support -- in support of this resolution for san francisco to be in support of ab-362. we're in a public health crisis right now. everyone knows it, and our residents who are all formerly homeless have been impacted the hardest by this public health crisis. one of my residents used to tell me all the time when i was case managing, when he was on
the streets, he would have to use a puddle on the streets that he would need for his use. these are the type of sites that we can open up so that no one would ever have to do that or they would at least have the opportunity to be able to use safely. and i've heard a lot of opposition today talk about the need for treatment, and i think what they seemingly fail to realize that these safe consumption sites are a vehicle for people to get access to treatment. and like people have pointed out earlier, it's part of the multipronged approaches that san francisco's going to need to have to address that include upstream approaches such as getting more supportive housing and different alternative approaches to criminal justice in order to face this public health crisis. so thank you for holding this hearing, and i appreciate your time. >> chair mandelman: thank you.
next speaker. >> i'm the proud mom of an almost three-year-old and a five-year-old, and i'm submitting my comments on behalf of our family. we're in strong support of the dignity -- recognizing the dignity of all san franciscans, of all humans, of all animals, except for snakes. and we really -- this is the value that i want my girls to have. this is why we live here. this is why we pay the taxes that we do, is to go to these services and make sure these services are available to all san franciscans. so thank you very much for considering this, and we urge your support. >> chair mandelman: thank you. next speaker. >> good afternoon, supervisors. i am so grateful for this
proposed program of 362. my background is i'm a patient advocate for a clinic and senior curry center, a former counselor for the homeless families in san francisco, worked for dual diagnosis in the state of illinois. one of the things that's so important to me about this program is just the fact that a person with drugs, substance problems, can walk into a door, and it's supervised. and not only that, just think someone walking into a door where they will not be shamed, they will not be -- feel guilty. walking into this door knowing that they're accepted as a human being, and this is so important for any drug addict because the biggest problem with drug addicts is they feel
so much guilty, so much pain, so much remorse, and what they need to feel it hey, i'm a human being, and i have a problem, but i'm here, and i know i'm accepted. thank you so much. please, we'll got to have this bill 362. please, please. >> chair mandelman: thank you. next speaker. >> good afternoon. my name is rebecca yokahama. i stand today to voice support for this resolution, ab-362. for some who say this would normalize drug use, i would question them what they see normalized. people who are experiencing medical emergencies who are left unattended and possibly at the risk of death. we've become tolerant of our
own inhumanity towards people who use drugs, and in attending some of the task force meetings around safe infection sites, it really -- injection sites, it really struck me the calls for the community who need these services are in need of compassion instead of hostility and dignity instead of disgust. i will also point out this is not the first time san francisco would not doing what's smart and what's right. in 1988, the city's first exchange program started when it was illegal to possess a syringe without a prescription. the community supported exchange programs because they would be saving lives. i also don't disagree with the point earlier made about equity and how we address public
health issues and drug use and would support that the city also continue to address the damage of the war on drugs on communities of color and low-income communities, for example, through our city's cannabis equity program plan. in short, i'm confident that the smart minds of the city can work together to navigate the legal policies involved and create a safe consumption community in neighborhood. >> chair mandelman: thank you. next speaker. >> my name is calder lorenz, and i'd like to read a statement.
cities throughout the state want and need these programs. they're supported by the mayor. the board of supervisors as well as district attorneys, chambers of commerce and in many cases a significant majority of the public. st. anthony's mission is to shelter, heal, and clothe those in need and create a society in which all persons fluorish. our missions continue to guide us and serve our fellow human beings with dignity, respect, and no judgment. for those reasons, st. anthony foundation supports policies that allow californians to choose to offer safe and effective overdose prevention programs. on a side note, i started off my week learning that a client that i'd worked with about nine years died of a drug overdose in the tenderloin. i followed that up by finding
out one of my clients overdosed in a bathroom. that client was actually not alone and was saved. >> chair mandelman: thank you. next speaker. >> she also speak mandarin. >> i'm here to oppose sb-362. the injection sites never ask for an i.d. this is very dangerous because -- and because they don't ask for an i.d., nobody knows their age, so they probably have the injection on underage kids. my kids are small.
i need to protect them. you have very huge responsibility. please protect our kids and us equally. as their mother, i need to protect my kids but not to have the urge to inject into their body if they are addicts. life is very treasured and limited. as drug addicts, they need to get away from drugs. it's not providing the umbrella to get them further drugs,
addicts. with the same amount of money, we can use the money to help them get away from drugs totally. let them have dignity life to live again. thank you. >> chair mandelman: thank you. are there -- no -- well, if there are any other members of the public who have not already spoken and would like to, they should come on up. >> hi. my name is andy stone, and i'm with the san francisco aids foundation, and i live in district nine. i just wanted to mention as a young queer person who comes from rural southwest georgia, often times what our parents my think is best for us often is not in fact what's best for us. what oftentimes we need is support, and that's exactly what it looks like for people who are using substances.
in the middle of an outrageous housing crisis and housing affordability crisis and opioid crisis, it is time for us to take action against people that are suffering all of these crisis that are coming together. so i strongly encourage everyone here to vote in support of this resolution. thank you to supervisor matt haney for sponsoring this resolution and bringing it before the board and please help us to end overdose. this is a crisis, and we need to respond to it like it's a crisis. >> chair mandelman: thank you. we can't let you speak twice. i'm afraid not, but if there are any other members of the public that have not spoken and would like to speak, you should come forward. seeing none, public comment is now closed.
i don't see anybody on the list. supervisor haney, did you want to say something in. >> supervisor haney: thank you to all the community and presenters. you know, i think today we heard that this can and will save lives. we have an epidemic, deadly epidemic, one of the worst that we've seen as a country and the toll that it's taking on our communities, and we are confident that we can do this in a smart way, an effective way to get people to both safer environments and services, and because of that, san francisco should continue to be a leader in supporting overdose prevention sites. hopefully, this will pass, and our community, as i spoke today, will be prepared to do this in the right way. so i hope that we'll support this. i don't actually have a vote in
the committee, but i hope this committee will support it and that our full board of supervisors will back up also the mayor, who's been a champion for this, as well. >> chair mandelman: thank you, supervisor haney. supervisor stefani? >> supervisor stefani: thank you, chair mandelman, and thank you, supervisor haney for bringing this resolution forward. thank you for everyone who came out and shared their personal stories. i want to thank everyone who is trying to help people recover from drug addiction and the disease that addiction is. i also want to acknowledge everybody who spoke. i think, you know, as a child of the 80's, growing up, and nancy reagan, just say no, and that was a viable solution. i remember thinking as a child,
just say no, it was that easy. and then, you grow up, and you have life experiences, and you realize that life is not that black and white, and you meet individuals, you have your own stories, and you realize that addiction is a beast of a disease that hurts a lot of people. there's so much shame and stigma behind addiction that we must do everything in our society to erase. and it is something that i care so deeply about. it is something that i believe we need to put all our efforts into, and i -- i understand, too, the fear people have around people doing drugs. i did start my career as a prosecutor, and i've seen horrible things that people do on drugs. i've seen families dismantled, my own. i guess that fear. and what i would encourage people to do is come to this issue from a place of love and
compassion and really try to understand what addicts and alcoholics are going through, and that is just an incredibly hard thing to ask you to do if you have no idea what that means. i encourage you to maybe go sit in an open a.a. meeting or open n.a. meeting and understand what people do and try to go to to recover from this disease because it is excruciatingly painful for many and is not one where you just wake up one morning and go okay, i'm done. it's so easy. it's not. and it takes a long time, and relapse is the name of the game in addiction. in san francisco, we see what's happening on our streets. i walk-through the tenderloin
and see people laying down -- not just in the tenderloin, in the district, as well, flat out from drugs that they may be ingesting. and i just want to say that we need to do something about that. we need places for people to go. and when i ask my questions about connecting people to services, it's because what curtis said, with the choose love shirt, it took him a while coming back, coming back, until he got it, and he's sober now, and he's helping others. that's what it takes, and we need to provide those places where people can walk into with dignity, with people who are there to love them through it, to help them get through it, and say i want there, too. i am for these sites, and i want to make sure when we open
them in san francisco, that it gets people the help they need, that they are treated with dignity and love and compassion. and i want to thank supervisor haney for bringing this forward and the people at the state that are putting this forward. i know this is the way to really help the opioid problem and the drug problem we are facing in our society, and it's a pilot program. we have to try it. thank you. >> chair mandelman: thank you, supervisor stefani. the -- i mean, my colleagues on this board have grown accustomed to me, and i want to thank you, supervisor stefani, for sharing your family experience. this was actually for you and also for me kind of an emotional hearing and hearing peoples' stories, and then, it became unemotional when i heard the opposition.
i just heard myself getting angry because the opposition seems to me well intentioned, though it may be is coming from a place of so little understanding, so little evidence, so little science, just opinion, bias, and prejudice. and what is at stake is at people's lives. i heard someone say that needle exchange is a failure because their needles on the street. access to needles and the ability to get rid of dirty needles is a success because people who would otherwise be dead are alive. some people said we should be providing treatment to folks. everyone on this board agrees. everyone in this audience agrees that anyone who's trying to access treatment should be able to access treatment. if you're accessing it two times or four times or ten times, we agree you should be able to do it, but if there's
no beds available, you shouldn't die. so i want every -- i want, you know, every person who wants to stop using to be able to stop using, and in general, i would like a world in which people are not using substances, but we don't live in that world, and so when -- you know, and that world is probably not going to come, then i think we need to keep people alive, and i think that's what safe consumption sites do. i want to thank eileen, laura, you know, and all the advocates who for decades have been trying to rationalize our drug policy in this city, state, and country, the world. courtney and the aids foundation and all the work you do to keep people alive, and
all the successful work you've done to keep people alive, and supervisor haney, thank you for leading the charge and leading the way. if there are no further -- >> supervisor walton: i've got a comment. >> chair mandelman: supervisor walton echos everything i just said. we need to accept the amendments, so i'll move to accept the amendments we just proposed. we can take that without objection, and does someone want to move that we forward this with a positive recommendation? supervisor stefani will move that, and we'll take that without objection, as well. thanks, everyone, for coming out. and mr. clerk, do we have any further business -- any further items? >> clerk: there's no further business. >> chair mandelman: all right. thank you. then we are adjourned.